YCC Magazine

Vol.2 Issue 2

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w w w . y o u t h c e n t r e s c a n a d a . c o m 18 M any of us know iconic song from the popular TV show, the Big Bang Theory. In various episodes, it was often sung to help soothe a character that was sick or hurt – in fact, it eventually became the trademark song for anyone who was feeling under the weather. There is no denying the soft and comforting words of Soft Kitty, just as there is no denying the warmth and pleasure one gets from stroking and cuddling a purring kitten or cat. There is a growing body of research that actually claims that owning a cat can help reduce stress levels, help reduce blood pressure, help lower cholesterol levels, and help reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. Our first hands-on introduction to the concept of a Cat Café was with one of our partner organizations, Kind (formerly PTS Ottawa). We attended one of their popular Purrfect Cafés, and the idea quickly took off from there. We realized that not everyone could have the pleasure of owning a cat – but that doesn't mean you would have to do without the therapeutic benefits of a kitty cuddle. At the Kanata Haven Youth Centre, we are always ready to take on something new and challenging – and the whole Cat Café idea was something we thought would fit in well with our youth mental health & wellness programs, and seriously, who doesn't love kittens! With the support from Kind, and a welcome partnership with the Ottawa Stray Cat Rescue, the Kitty Kat Café opened its doors on Tuesday, July 21 to a full house of both two and four legged friends. It was an amazing evening of soft furry snuggles, tasty treats, entertaining cat toys, and the continued quest for the ever elusive "red dot". The Ottawa Stray Cat Rescue is an amazing organization that is dedicated to getting adoptable cats off the streets and into homes, and managing feral (wild) cat colonies in the Ottawa Region. We welcome you to visit their website at www.oscatr.ca and consider helping them out either through a donation, or becoming a foster home. Our goal at the Kitty Kat Café is to offer our guests the opportunity to play, cuddle & snuggle with some furry friends, and help re-charge their emotional batteries. Over the course of the year, we'll also be showcasing various other animal rescue organizations (not just the adorable kittens), and offering workshops such as responsible pet ownership and pet first aid. The Kitty Cat Café operates on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at the Kanata Haven Youth Centre, and there is no charge to attend. Donations are always welcome and very much appreciated – whatever we receive is happily shared with our guest rescue organization. As an added bonus, we will also feature some amazing friends that are up for adoption and looking for their forever home. So the next time you're feeling a bit stressed or simply out of sorts, find a cat to cuddle – it will do your heart & soul good. "What greater gift than the love of a cat?" - Charles Dickens Need a Pick-Me-Up? Hug a Cat Today! By Diane McNulty

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